Big-Screen Ambition Swept Away

Her husband, Snatch director Guy Ritchie, clearly loves Madonna blindly because he allowed himself to go against the instinctual gift he has for filmmaking and miscast her in a role that could've been pulled off by just about anyone with talent. Harvey Fierstein in drag would've had more believable on-screen chemistry with co-star Adriano Giannini than did Madonna. Basically, if this movie isn't her final attempt at film-career suicide, then I don't know what will be (Evita was supposed to be the movie death of her).

Swept Away is a remake of the 1974 Lina Wertmüller film starring Mariangela Melato and, coincidentally enough (yeah right), Adriano Giannini's papa, Giancarlo Giannini. In its day it was weighted with controversy as it touched on communist ideals, sexual exploration and situations that were certainly more taboo back then. Madonna’s No Sandler

Whatever Ritchie intended to do with this version of the film is all but lost because Madonna is so overpoweringly awful that she would've been less guilty had she shot this film to death with a rifle.

In the inimitable words of the Rolling Stones, "You can't always get what you want." Although Madonna has lots of fans, the bottom line is that the flick has grossed $375,000 on 196 screens. That's roughly $1,900 a screen, or about 191 people per screen).

All I'm saying is if your modus operandi is going for the gusto and doing it for public consumption, then it's important to have the talent to back it up.

And although I never thought I'd say this, Adam Sandler does that!

I saw Punch-Drunk Love and, although this is one quirky, jerky film, Sandler stepped up to the plate. Whether you are a fan of his potty-humor/slapstick comedy or not, the guy is a box-office gold mine. His plethora of films appeals to a certain younger crowd, but he never ceases to pull in the movie masses.

Sandler went out on a limb, went for the real dramatic carrot and got it. Although his role as the emotionally troubled Barry Egan contains behavior reminiscent to Sandler's own unusual characteristics, he is able to take his oddness to a whole new level.

Truthfully, the guy really can act. There are scenes where his volatility is completely unnerving. Punch-Drunk allows him to switch-hit with the big-team players like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, who have put aside their comedy capes for more dynamic parts.

Honestly, Madonna could take a lesson or two from Mr. Sandler, and if not from him, then from an acting teacher. Sandler might make comedy albums, but he's never going to try and become a Top 40 singer. He knows better.

These two flicks should change titles. I got Swept Away by Adam Sandler's performance in Punch-Drunk Love, and that's exactly what Guy Ritchie must've been hit with to make such a hideous movie with his wife.

Heidi Oringer is director of entertainment programming at ABCNEWS Radio.

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